26.11.2013 | Moscow

ERA.Net RUS conference "Towards a Vision for EU-Russia Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation"

The participants took stock of EU-Russia cooperation in science, technology and innovation and mapped out areas of future collaboration. The richness and strategic importance of EU-Russia scientific cooperation was the leitmotiv of the discussions. The EU and Russia are longstanding scientific partners who closely interact at the policy, institutional, programme, project and personal levels, both in the bilateral (EU member states) and multilateral context.

PPanel discussion at the Vision Conference in Moscow | © Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS)
Panel discussion at the Vision Conference in Moscow | © Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS)

Over the last decade, the EU and Russia have put in place a comprehensive framework for cooperation in these areas and have supported several successful initiatives, such as joint calls for research proposals on issues of mutual interest. The proposed priority areas of future S&T cooperation between the EU and Russia which were outlined at the conference are briefly summarised below.

Capitalising on complementarity

First of all, it was pointed out that the EU and Russia complement each other in scientific terms because of their different, yet mutually reinforcing and mutually inspiring scientific traditions and approaches. Such complementarity can, for example, be observed at the level of unique scientific installations which are currently being developed and operated both in the EU and Russia. Complementary initiatives, such as FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) and NICA (Nuclotron-based Ion Collider Facility) create important opportunities for staff exchanges and knowledge-sharing. Russia has been actively investing in the development of research infrastructure facilities in the EU and, in turn, has opened Russia’s ‘megascience’ facilities for the participation of EU member states, both upstream and downstream. In this context the key parameters and specific mechanisms of a more open mutual access regime to such installations should be further explored by the partners.

Deriving the benefits from interdependence

Common challenges that arise in an increasingly globalised and complex world, such as environmental threats, natural disasters, pandemics, demographic problems, and future scarcities of vital natural resources, can only be tackled jointly by the EU and Russia as well as other countries as part of a concerted international scientific collaboration effort. Identifying solutions to these problems requires multidisciplinary thinking and the input of the social sciences and the humanities. The social sciences and humanities play an important role - they are needed to understand and make acceptable the societal implications of scientific and technological progress and more specifically to jointly reflect on Europe's identity, cultural diversity and political changes, as well as on Europe’s global role.

Enhancing reciprocity and convergence

EU-Russia scientific collaboration has increasingly been driven by the principles of mutual openness and shared responsibility. Major research funding mechanisms, such as the R&D Framework Programmes on the EU side and the Federal Targeted R&D Programmes on the Russian side, are open for the participation of Russian and European researchers respectively. In addition, funding can be provided as part of European Research Council (ERC) grants for Russian scientists and under the Russian ‘megagrant’ competitions for European researchers. Multilateral and bilateral joint co-funded calls for research proposals in common priority areas have shown the possibilities of bridging the existing funding programmes in the EU and Russia. However, beyond these established schemes, flexible dedicated funding mechanisms are needed to support cooperation between EU and Russian scientific organisations on a more systematic basis and especially to find ways to fund Russia’s participation in Horizon 2020. Next to that information about the existing cooperation possibilities should be actively and broadly circulated among all potentially interested players.

Fostering human development and training

The EU and Russia have committed to developing a Common Space in Research and Education, including Cultural Aspects. At the project level, R&D organisations which are already involved in EU-Russia cooperation actively seek to develop new educational models and possibilities to empower the next generation of young researchers and to mitigate the risk of brain drain. In this spirit, any future cooperation initiatives should include both research and education/training elements. More broadly, at the policy level, both the EU and Russia should aim to create a more conducive environment for collaborative research joint education programmes by facilitating practical matters, such as visa free travel for students and scientists or eased purchase and import-export of scientific materials and equipment.

To a large extent the discussions at the conference echoed the ERA.Net RUS Vision Paper which sets out a comprehensive overview of the proposed priority areas for future EU-Russia cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

Summarised by Veronika Kupriyanova | Executive Officer, Europlan UK


Welcome Address

  • Presentation - Ludmila Ogorodova (Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation)

Expectations on the Future of EU‐Russia Science Cooperation from the Perspective of Science Institutions

  • Presentation - Alexei Khokhlov (Moscow State University)
  • Presentation - Donald Bruce Dingwell (European Research Council)
  • Presentation - Valery Charushin (Russian Academy of Sciences)

Introduction to the Conference - ERA.Net with Russia: A story of true success

  • Presentation - Jörn Sonnenburg (Project Management Agency at the German Aerospace Center DLR)

Towards a Vision for EU‐Russia Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Vision Statements from Scientists and Innovators

From Vision to Action: The ERA.Net RUS‐Vision Paper towards enhanced EU‐Russia Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation

  • Presentation - Karel Haegeman (Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC‐IPTS) / Manfred Spiesberger (Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI))
  • Presentation - Leonid Gokhberg (National Research University – Higher School of Economics (HSE))

Vision Paper - Towards a Vision for EU-Russia Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation

  • This Vision Paper outlines development perspectives for enhanced cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI) between the EU, its Member States (MS), countries associated (AC) with the EU’s Framework Programmes on Research and Technological Development, and the Russian Federation (RF). This Vision Paper has been prepared within the FP7-funded ERA.Net RUS project. Its recommendations are based on a comprehensive foresight exercise, on continuous analysis of RTI cooperation as well as in-depth discussions among various stakeholders. The Vision Paper proposes a range of measures for improving cooperation to be implemented jointly by the European Commission, the EU MS and AC as well as the RF. (Download)

Working Document - Towards a vision for research, technology and innovation cooperation between Russia and the EU, its Member States and Associated Countries

  • This Working Document outlines development perspectives for cooperation in research, technology and innovation (RTI) between the EU, its Member States (MS), countries associated to the EU’s FP7 (AC), and Russia. The Working Document has been prepared by the consortium members of the ERA.Net RUS initiative and is based on a comprehensive foresight exercise implemented over the years 2010-2013 and on analysis of on-going RTI cooperation. (Download)

In November 2013, the Bilat RUS Advanced project (which is coordinated by the DLR Project Management Agency) organised the Opening Events of the EU Russia Year of Science 2014. In their function as editors of the 'EU-Russia Year of Science' website, DLR agreed to upload the presentations held during this event on this website for download in pdf format subject to the expressed consent of the speakers concerned. DLR, as the uploading entity, has not monitored the contents of these presentations in any way. In case of incorrect contents, copyright infringements or other violations of the law, please contact Maria Josten, DLR Project Management Agency, European and International Cooperation, maria.josten@dlr.de. Any offending material will be removed immediately.

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